WOTBB 29 – Breaking the ICE

Original date of blog: June 14th, 2015

See what I did there? =’D
I’ve spend well over a month planning ICE; thinking of the idea itself, working it out in text, conversing with Orca, contacting all the clan-leaders separately, then starting the discussion in the General Discussion forum, making an attendance poll, sending out reminders to those I hadn’t yet heard from, found out there were two new clans and contacted them too, answered any and all questions thrown at my feet, created a few hundred rooms on our teamspeak server to host everyone (including finding out the whisper function didn’t work, and having to figure out why the heck not), posting up the final details, reminding the entire Clan what was to happen and then the waiting game started.

Pffffft! I knew that it would take quite some organising to try and get 18 clans into an event together, but I hadn’t quite appreciated just how much work it would encompass. But because of that, when yesterday finally came around, I got the same kind of feeling you get when you finished a schoolyear, or a massive project at work. Doing this next to my own full-time job was not exactly all fun and games. It can be a bit frustrating when you’ve just send out reminders to your entire clan, and one of the active members in the Clan-chat, in which I’ve been talking about ICE for over a month, not to mention the fact that there’s been topics both on LOCA’s forum and Blitz’ forum about it all, goes “but what’s happening then?”. I really wanted to high-five him. In the face. With a tank.

Yesterday was D-day. After explaining to a few more people that have been living under a rock what was about to happen, and getting everyone psyched about it, I had to try and get Turtle onto Teamspeak. He couldn’t connect. We had no idea why. He joined us an hour into the event – it turned out he had downloaded the wrong program… Yeah, that would make it hard to connect.

In the beginning it was a little difficult to get everyone where they needed to go. A lot of people hung out in the Guest Channel, because that’s where the most people were. Condor and I were there, naturally, to guide everything and make people go to the right channels. It was also very audible that not everyone was wearing headphones, which are just going to be mandatory next month (just as if there’s a lot of background noise, when you’re in a public chat, you switch your microphone off).

But because we started a little early, we didn’t get that much delay from that. When we started, we were with 76 people on the server. That, ladies and gentlemen, is awesome. I have to admit, it’s fewer than I originally thought – some of the clans that had said they would be there weren’t there at all, so that’s something I definitely have to solve for the next event, but still, 76 people in an event is a heck load of people. Needless to say, the battles were started were at least 85% event-people (six platoons + two random players).

The countdowns were held every 10 minutes. Which turns out to be too long – had some feedback about that, and I completely agree. For the first event though, I was very grateful for it, because it gave me the time I needed to work out the bugs I could find and respond to the messages I got in game from players needing some extra instructions (which, with the lovely chat-bug we’ve got there, aren’t easy to give), not to mention trying to get my own platoon mate onto teamspeak at all.

Our server turned out to have a bit of trouble with guests, making it so that for some reason guests couldn’t switch channels. Pretty sure that’s something to do with the permissions, so it’s definitely something that we should be able to fix for the next event. So, aside from what I mentioned above, I was also moving people that had been disconnected and came back, back to their own respective lobbies (just for that alone, I’m very grateful for the clan-tags behind names).

I found it quite funny to see that most of the clans remained in their own lobbies instead of the separate platoon rooms. At some point, I had thought Vanguard had disappeared all together, but it turned out, they were just crashing in Valiant’s lobby, because there weren’t that many of them. But so much for the organisational part of all of this.

The battles themselves.. wow.. It was so much fun. And so different! It was a lot harder to win, for one, and way harder to do decent amounts of damage. There were really no usual victories or defeats. It usually meant just one team being steamrolled by the other. It’s a completely different gameplay, when you’re with people that know what they’re doing. The game becomes more hectic, very fast-paced.

Truth be told, it was rather overwhelming. It’s convinced me of the fact that, whatever we want to believe, we’re absolutely not ready for Clan Wars, and I don’t believe any clan out there is, because we all ran into the same troubles. During normal battles, you’ll meet one or two people you might know, and you gun them down first because they’re the biggest threat and then you can destroy the rest at your leisure. Only now, the entire enemy team exists of people you know, that know how the game works, where to go and what to do. One error from just one member of your team, and you lose, because you’re at a disadvantage. Not to mention that the battles were so fast-paced that one moment, you’re full health, and in the blink of an eye, you’re suddenly dead. And it’s not like you totally noobed and went out into the open or anything like it.

It was definitely an eye-opener. What I also noticed was the complete lack of communication between the teams. Yes, the platoons had contact with one another in their lobbies and platoon rooms, but the other five members of the team weren’t in on that. As such, the team acted as three separate platoons and one extra. There was absolutely no team in any of them. The team that won had the platoons that worked best together, and often the team that somehow managed to function just a little like a team.

It’s something I definitely want to see if we can change somehow for the next event, though I’m clueless as to how to do that. But, I have just under a month to think of a possible solution to that puzzle (and I’d love everyone to think along, too). Because there has to be a way to make that work more properly.

Just under two hours into the event, I ended the official first part of the event, and invited everyone back into the lobby. Oh. My. God. The Chaos! The Volume! The Chatter! They all deserve capitals, there was so much of it. At first we were in the guest channel, but everyone that disconnected and reconnected ended up in there, so that was way too much chaos, so we moved to the lobby instead.

For a few minutes, chaos reigned there too. I’m very glad I had made myself a priority speaker, because it meant that if I spoke, everyone else was half-muted. And people actually listened when I spoke, so that helped too (I wish all men were like that <3). The chaos was absolutely funny though. At this part of the event, we were still with 48 people, which was still an incredible high number. And that’s aside from those that stayed in their respective clan-rooms.

The battles followed each other a lot faster because we didn’t have to wait that long until everyone was out of battle. We switched tiers a lot, I think because everyone hoped to find one they’d surely win in, but that was in vain, for sure. In all honesty, I liked this part of the event a lot more. Aside from the lack of teamwork in the teams before, it was a lot more social, and thus, a lot more fun.

I switched platoon mates several times as people started going to bed, and thus had fun with just about every clan present in the end. At 2am CET, we were still left with 36 people, and still got into complete ICE-filled battles. It was at 3:30am CET that I called it a night myself. Not because I wanted to end it, but because I actually have to go out and do stuff today and I need a little bit of sleep if I’m to survive the day XD Now, just a few hours later, I’m not quite sure I’ll manage that survival, but I’ll try my hardest.

Overall, I had an absolute blast throughout the entire event, which, in the end, lasted over 7 hours. Just awesome. I loved meeting everyone, and hearing everyone, getting to know the clans better and I loved having matches with all of you. There are a few bugs to work out before the next one, and a few more people to round up, but judging the success of this one, I think it will be easier to get people on board for the next one. Might have to make a big warning about what events do to stats though 😉

Battles fought: 7,200
Winrate: 63.94% (T_T)
Average damage: 1,555

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